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National Women's History Month

U.S. Census fast facts

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In 1981, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women's History Week. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women's History Month, and the U.S. president has issued a proclamation. The following are census numbers for women in the United States.

147.8 million -- The number of females in the United States as of July 1, 2003. That exceeds the number of males (143 million). Males outnumber females in every five-year-age group through the 35-to-39 age group. Starting with the 40-to-44 age group, women outnumber men. At 85 and over, there are more than twice as many women as men.

Earnings

$30,724 -- The median annual earnings of women ages 15 and older who work full time, year-round. After adjusting for inflation, earnings for these women declined by 0.6 percent between 2002 and 2003 - their first annual decline since 1995.

$2.9 million -- Estimated work-life earnings of women with a professional degree (i.e., medical, law, dental or veterinarian) who work full time, year-round. For women, like men, more education means higher career earnings. It is estimated that women without a high school diploma would earn $700,000 during their work lives, increasing to $1 million if they had a high school diploma and $1.6 million if they had a bachelor's degree.

76 cents -- The amount women who worked full time, year-round, earned for every $1 their male counterparts earned. This amount is down from 77 cents for every dollar in 2002.

Education

31 percent -- Percent of women ages 25 to 29 years who had attained a bachelor's degree or higher in 2003, which exceeded that of men in this age range (26 percent). Eighty-eight percent of young women and 85 percent of young men had completed high school. The last year young women and men had equal rates of high school and college attainment was 1995.

26 percent -- Percent of women who have obtained a bachelor's degree. This rate has increased nearly 7 percentage points in the past decade.

774,000 -- The projected number of bachelor's degrees that will be awarded to women in the 2004-05 school year; women also are projected to earn 293,000 master's degrees in the 2004-05 school year. Women would, therefore, earn 57 percent of the bachelor's and 58 percent of the master's degrees awarded during this school year. (These two percentages are not significantly different from one another.)

85 percent -- Percent of women age 25 and over who have completed high school. For the second year in a row, women have had a higher rate of high school completion than men (84 percent).

Marriage

62.9 million -- Number of married women (including those who are separated or have an absent spouse). There are 53.5 million unmarried (widowed, divorced or never married) women.

29 percent -- Percent of women in unmarried-partner households who have higher levels of education than their partners; by comparison, 22 percent of married women have higher levels of education than their husbands. Women in unmarried-partner households are also more likely than married women to earn more than their partners. Twenty-three percent of women in unmarried-partner households earn at least $5,000 more than their partners, compared with 17 percent of married women.

54 percent -- Percent of unmarried and single Americans who are women.

Military

215,243 -- Total number of active duty women in the military, compared to 1,219,134 men, in 2003. Of that total, 34,796 women are officers, 178,428 are enlisted and 2,019 are enrolled in military academies.

1.7 million -- The number of military veterans who are women.

16 percent -- Percent of Persian Gulf War (1990-91) veterans who are women. In contrast, women account for 5 percent of World War II vets, 3 percent of Vietnam vets and 2 percent of Korean War vets.

Sports and recreation

2.9 million -- Number of females who participated in high school athletic programs in the 2002-03 school year. In the 1972-73 school year, only 800,000 females were members of a high school athletic team.

Motherhood

82.5 million -- Estimated number of mothers of all ages in the United States. (From unpublished dated.)

44 percent -- Percent of all women of childbearing age (15 to 44 years old) who are childless. Seventy-one percent of these childless women participated in the labor force.

Jobs

60 percent -- Percent of women 16 and over who participated in the workforce in 2003. Men in this age range had a participation rate of 74 percent.

34 percent -- Percent of women 16 and over who work in professional specialty or executive, administrative and managerial jobs, compared with 30 percent of men.

20.3 million -- Number of female workers in education, health and social services industries. More women work in this industry group than in any other.

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